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An Interview with A Fantasy Medley’s Yanni Kuznia

A Fantasy Medley

Subterranean’s own Yanni Kuznia assembled a diverse quartet of stories from some of fantasy’s most exciting authors in the sell-out volume A Fantasy Medley. Soon, we release the follow-up installment, A Fantasy Medley 2, which again collects new tales of the fantastic from four of the field’s best: Tanya Huff, Amanda Downum, Jasper Kent, and Seanan McGuire. Like its predecessor, A Fantasy Medley 2 has earned a starred review from Publishers Weekly. Gwenda Bond talked to Kuznia about the new book.

GB: How did the idea for the A Fantasy Medley series come about? Was it always intended to have multiple volumes?

Kuznia: A Fantasy Medley started out as an opportunity for me to work as an editor on an anthology. I knew I wanted it to be themed around women in fantasy, both authors and protagonists. I was extremely fortunate to have every author I asked agree to participate. It was a wonderful experience to work with some of my favorite writers, and I hope working with Subterranean Press was equally wonderful for them.

The Fantasy Medley idea was deliberately left to be open-ended so that I could potentially put together a second volume, much like Bill Schafer's Subterranean: Tales of Dark Fantasy series. 

GB: Like its predecessor, A Fantasy Medley 2 brings together stories from well-established fantasy authors and those who are newer to the field. Is that something you set out to do deliberately?

Kuznia: This is absolutely deliberate. I've been reading fantasy for 25 years and while I have many old favorites that I continue to read year after year, I also love seeing how the genre changes and how authors respond to their predecessors' works. Not to mention it gives everyone a thrill to work with somebody they never have before.

GB: When you approached the authors included here, did they have ideas right away about what stories they wanted to tell from their larger worlds?

Kuznia: I think most authors have stories they are itching to write or explore further, and that was certainly true of Tanya, Amanda, Jasper, and Seanan. I suggested ideas or preferences, but each author took a vaguely expressed thought and ran with it. 

GB: Switching gears a little bit…as a reader, is getting to explore a certain setting or character from a series you love in a shorter work something that you enjoy?

Kuznia: Absolutely! I love reading vignettes that give me an extra taste of a world, show a dimension to a character I particularly love or revile that profoundly changes how I perceive them, or follow a secondary character that adds to a larger story but didn't necessarily fit in a novel.

GB: Can you give readers a little preview of what to expect from the stories collected here?

Kuznia: Seanan McGuire gives her readers a much-anticipated Tybalt, King of Cats, story from the October Daye series. Jasper Kent delivers a chilling ghost story that traverses from Russia to France. Amanda Downum explores a never-before-seen corner of Erisin, and Tanya Huff returns to her Quarters series.

GB: Do you anticipate there will be more installments of A Fantasy Medley in the future?

Kuznia: I certainly hope so!